Plugins used in this Octopress blog

Update: I no longer uses Octopress. This post is archived for people who wants to see.

This website is based on Octopress, which is “a framework designed by Brandon Mathis for Jekyll, the blog aware static site generator powering Github Pages”. Unlike other blogging platform such as WordPress and Blogger, Octopress generates static site, which loads faster. However, octopress may be hard for beginner to grasp. Here are the lists of other sites that use Octopress.

I used some time to get my blog started using Octopress, I still cannot fully understand how it works. Refer to Octopress website for guides to setup your website using Octopress. I store my source files at Bitbucket and commit and push the contents of my source file’s public folder to Github. Now the site is running, I need to add some functions to my blog.

First, I need to choose a theme. Here is a list of themes you can choose for your Octopress blog. This blog uses the whitespace mathy theme. Links in this blog would not open in a new tab when clicked, so I refer to this to make my links open websites in new tab when clicked.

Then, I need to add some plugins. Here is a list of plugins that you can use. As this is a static site, it does not allow comments, so I have to use a third-party to host all the comments, the preferred service is Disqus. Disqus is a blog comment hosting service. Refer here to see how to implement it (just read the first part).

Then, I added an about page. Refer here for tutorial. The default search form uses google that displays result as google search term, which is not what I wanted, I wanted a search form that returns posts inside my own blog, not on google. So, I followed this, now the searches are returned directly on my website.

The archive works great by listing posts chronologically. It also lists the categories of each post in the form of “posted in…”. There is a problem, there are so many categories, if I want to find the category that appears the most, I can’t find it. So, I refer to this website to implement a category list which ranks the category by post count and lists each category’s post count beside its name. Then I make a page on top to navigate to the category list.

I also added a tag list. Refer to here and here. Tag is different from category. Each post usually contains 1-2 category and many tags. It is adviced that if you can write many posts about a certain topic, that topic should be a category. Tags are like the details of your post. The tag cloud bolds and make bigger the tags that are most used.

In octopress, you can also set asides, which is similar to gadgets in blogger. For example, you can set about page, recent posts list, category list beside the blog posts. However, whitespace theme I use disabled the asides function, so I resort to putting all my “gadgets” on top. This too is good because it leaves more space for my blog posts.

Lastly, for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purpose, I add keywords and descriptions to each posts, and also to my website. SEO means optimizing your blog so that search engine such as Google will rank your page higher in the ranking. Refer to this website for the steps.

Refer here to enable latex equation writing in your Octopress blog.

Refer here to sign up google webmasters tool. You can keep track of your website’s search traffic, content keywords, what people search for, and etc.


    1. Install octopress source. link
    2. Install a theme. link
    3. Make links open in new tab when
    4. Install disqus comment system. link
    5. Added about page. link
    6. Make searches return on website instead of going to google search. link
    7. Category list. link
    8. Tag list. link1, link2
    9. Monthly Archive sidebar. link
    10. SEO – keywords, descriptions. link
    11. Install latex to enable math equation in posts. link
    12. Sign up for Google webmasters and Google Analytics. link1


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